Ft. Hood Soldiers Help Finish Little Boy's 'Make a Wish' - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Ft. Hood Soldiers Help Finish Little Boy's 'Make a Wish'

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Ft. Hood soldiers help finish Antonio's greenhouse Ft. Hood soldiers help finish Antonio's greenhouse
(KCEN) – Even the toughest of soldiers cry once in a while, and get misty eyed when emotions get the best of them. Friday was one of those times.

Around 10a.m. about 30 soldiers made their way to the Laguna’s home in Kempner, TX. Their mission: helping Make a Wish put the final touches on a little boy’s dream.  

“It’s what we do,” Sergeant Paulus Smallwood said. “If someone needs help we will go out and help them.”

But it wasn’t just anyone. They were helping a fellow brother, Frank Laguna, who just recently retired from the Army one month ago.

His seven-year-old son Antonio is diagnosed with an extremely rare condition called ROHHAD. Basically his body will sometimes forget to tell the brain to do certain functions like breathe or stop eating, and part of his condition causes rapid onset obesity.  

Understanding how important it was to eat healthy, Antonio picked up a strange hobby, growing his own food. So, when Make a Wish told him he could have anything he wanted… a trip to Disney World, concert tickets, anything… he chose something no one imaged.

He chose a dream garden with a greenhouse and orchard. Why? To fill his appetite for growing food to stay healthy… and to help feed others. (Yes this kid is only seven.)

“It’s truly selfless,” Specialist Stephanie Swann said while helping on Friday. “It’s been emotional. We had a couple of us out here crying, but it’s a great feeling overall being able to help this little boy with is wish.”

For more than a month Make a Wish with the help of Backbone Valley Nursery, Ben Atkins Builders, various other businesses, community volunteers and now Fort Hood soldiers, have made Antonio’s wish grow from the ground up. Now all that’s left is the big reveal on Monday.

“He tries to find sneaky ways to find out what’s going on,” Frank laughed.

It’s been a tough journey, but when you have an army behind you, life is a little easier. “It’s been extremely difficult, but we’ve learned to rely on the community, my soldiers, my wife and our faith,” Frank said.

So the soldier’s mission… it wasn’t just finishing up a greenhouse, it was making sure a little boy could make a big impact.

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